Friday, April 22, 2011

Dinner With Friends

For the second time in my life I had dinner with a congressman. The first was in 2007 when Rep. Jay Inslee(D-WA-1) campaigned for Hillary Clinton during the Iowa Caucuses. Tonight I, and about 20 others, had dinner with Rep. Leonard Boswell(D-IA-3). Thanks to reapportionment, Rep. Boswell's 3rd district will now include Red Oak. To represent Red Oak and the rest of the 3rd district, Boswell will have to win a competitive race with Rep. Tom Latham(R-IA-4). The new 3rd district will run roughly from Des Moines south to the Missouri line, and from Des Moines west to the Nebraska line. Boswell is using these past few days to meet party activists in the southwest Iowa counties that he has never represented.

The big topic was the budget and what to do about the deficit. Boswell, as did every other Democrat, voted against the Republican budget plan that passed the house last week. As a fiscally conservative "Blue Dog," Boswell believes that the deficit issue must be addressed soon. However, he said that he did not want to do so at the expense of traditional Democratic social programs. What was interesting was that Boswell said one of his favored means of reducing the deficit was to begin pulling out of Afghanistan. If even a moderate Democrat like Boswell is entertaining the idea of leaving Afghanistan then there is chance that the war might soon draw to a close.

The rest of the evening passed with a question and answer period covering the basic issues. Boswell appeared fully supportive of alternative fuels and especially the algae fuel plant in Shenandoah. Former Iowa First Lady Christie Vilsack's campaign in Iowa's 4th district against Republican Steve King was a topic that arnared everyone's attention. Boswell all but confirmed Vilsac's plan and said that she just bought a house in Ames so that she can live in the district. A good turnout, and the graciousness of Rep. and Mrs. Boswell, made this one of the more encouraging evening to be a Democrat in southwest Iowa. The Backbencher is fully supportive of Rep. Boswell and the push for this part of Iowa to finally be represented by a Democrat.

1 comment:

  1. The sense of wanting to help, but not knowing how or where, is something a lot of us are going through. You have done a good job.
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